Coop Du Jour 3.0

Chicken Garden and Coop from Farmhouse38The very fate of my marriage rests on the functionality of our newly made-over coop.  The Texan has really put his foot down; this is the last time we are re-doing the darned thing.  The. Last. Time.

Roger that.

The original coop design was….okay.  It just wasn’t great (even after we gave it several cute cosmetic overhauls).

The Original Chicken Coop from Farmhouse38

The made-over original coop.

It really was more of a run than it was a coop, and a rather useless run, at that.  Inside, there was a tiny curtain-enclosed roost box that also doubled as a nesting box.  It was always a mess, and also, I fear, not really protective enough in the winter.  In fact, last winter, we actually moved the coop and temporarily enclosed the whole thing with insulation and tarps to keep everyone warm and dry, which worked great, but gave the yard a rather shanty-like vibe.  Which made me nuts.

The Old, Worthless Coop from Farmhouse38

It still makes me twitchy to look at. Make it go away!!!

We finally decided that tweaking it one more time was just adding insult to injury.  With a year and a half of chicken-keeping under our belts, we went back to the proverbial drawing board.  I knew we could do better.

Additionally, my once gorgeous ‘secret garden’ that originally looked like this:

The Old Secret Garden at Farmhouse38

Was now looking more like this:

Do Not Repin this Awful Image from Farmhouse38

The junk scattered in the background is definitely because of the chickens. Definitely.

So, I knew that it was time to make this garden a ‘chicken garden’.  Which meant planting only chicken-friendly and chicken-proof plants.  If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

The driving force behind the design of the new henhouse was insulation, insulation, insulation.  And a legit peaked, shingled roof (as opposed to the old slanted corrugated plastic one) so that this adorable weathervane had somewhere to sit.

New Chicken Coop from Farmhouse38

This sucker is sturdy: studded walls, filled with insulation sandwiched between an interior and exterior layer of plywood.  The entire coop and run sits on a bed of cement pavers.

This summer, with temperatures hovering up over 100 degrees, the inside of the henhouse stays pretty darned nice.  Fingers crossed, the same will hold true this winter.

I wanted every single element of the coop interior to be removable so that I could easily clean things–because cleaning was a real bear in the last set-up.  The roost bar, shelves, perch, and nesting boxes all come out easily.  Additionally, the shelves, nesting boxes, and floors are all lined with sections of vinyl flooring and oil cloth so that they slip easily out for quick cleaning.

New Coop from Farmhouse38

Gertie’s telling me about the egg she just laid (lefthand nesting box), while broody Clementine grumbles at both of us from the righthand nesting box.

I must sing the praises of this set-up.  With the shelf under the roost bar to catch all their nighttime droppings, this house stays SO CLEAN.  I simply take out the removable oil-cloth lining and hose it off every morning.

Interior of New Chicken Coop from Farmhouse38

A shelf holds important supplies up out of chicken-reach, and hooks allow for bundles of fresh herbs to be hung (which ward off pests and deodorize the joint naturally). This is a good shot of the oil-cloth lined ceiling. A note about oil-cloth–it gives off a lot of fumes when it is new; I cut these pieces and aired them out outside for several weeks before installing in the coop.

The Abominable Brood-Monster of Farmhouse38

The Abominable Brood-Monster….oh, broody girl, you really must get out and do something with your life!  Obviously, the new coop suits her just fine.

Chicken Run with Living Roof from Farmhouse38

The new run has a living roof and a offers a little bit of shady outdoor space for them during the rare times when they must be locked up.

Green Roofed Chicken Run from Farmhouse38

The roof is built on a gentle slant, and consists of a ‘planter box’ frame built of sealed 1×8’s, with corrugated plastic roofing (salvaged from the roof of the old run) as the bottom of the box. Moisture and weed barrier layers affixed to the inside of the ‘box’ assure that the soil will stay put, and that any water will funnel off the end of the roof and not into the run.

Green Roofed Chicken Run at Farmhouse38

Living Roofed Chicken Run from Farmhouse38

I absolutely heart the green roof.

Coop Weathervane from Farmhouse38

Some might say I did this remodel just for this adorable weathervane.

The New Coop at Farmhouse38

The door’s vents are covered in hardware cloth for safety, and cut into star shapes for cuteness.  Certainly gives it a little bit of an outhouse-y vibe, but I think that’s hilarious, personally.  The little lantern has a timer-operated candle that comes on every night at dusk.

The New Coop at Farmhouse38

Millie has a knack for perfectly-timed photo-bombs.

Armoire Garden Storage Closet from Farmhouse38

To the right of the hen outhouse is an armoire that I rescued from the curb and fitted with doors. This serves us well as a chicken supply cabinet.

Rusty Star Washer Stepping Stones at Farmhouse38

Some rusty star washers serve as stepping stones to the supply cabinet.

The chicken garden surrounding the coop has been a bit of give and take.  It is a finely-tuned balance; equal parts protective plants and shrubs, pest-deterring herbs and flowers, edibles for the chickens, and a few little bits of annual color (which are hard to have because the chickens usually qualify these as ‘edibles for the chickens’).

Scrap Wood Garden Pathway from Farmhouse38

The annual-lined pathway leading to the chicken garden is ‘paved’ with bits and pieces of wood salvaged from the old coop and our recently renovated old deck. Had to put all that scrap wood to good use somehow!

Scrapwood Garden Pathway from Farmhouse38

The bits of wood are adhered down with concrete and then backfilled with soil (as my intention is to try to grow some sort of creeping green, like thyme between them). Most of the wood bits are painted and sealed, but I did leave many completely naked so that they would weather. Obviously, if you want this sort of thing to last as long as possible, you need to seal every surface.  I regret nothing!!!!

Garden Gate Door from Farmhouse38

The entrance to the chicken garden is still this lovely old door (which was the original front door to the house), though I have gone and painted it a chippy green. I’ve had it pointed out that the sign phrase, which I intended to mean something like ‘Little Chicken Garden’, really doesn’t hold up in French.  It should probably read ‘Potager des Poulets’, as the term ‘de poulet’ refers to chicken as an ingredient–as in chicken soup, chicken sandwich, or chicken McNuggets.  I was going to change it, but upon reflection, I kind of found it funny to leave it this way…anyway, you can see a tutorial on how to make the sign, improper French or not, here.

The Frog Fountain at Farmhouse38

Just inside the gate is the frog fountain which is pretty much my favorite thing ever. It adds a fantastic amount of lovely water background music. I’ve obsessed over having this fountain since the first time I saw it in the Ballard Designs catalog.

Chicken on a Mission at Farmhouse38

This photo cracks me up. Eloise is on a mission. Around the backside of that fountain is a little protective, shady area where I actually have an automatic waterer set up for the girls. This is where she is headed. So far, the girls have wanted NOTHING to do with swapping spit with that frog.

The Chicken Garden at Farmhouse38

The main chicken garden is full of rose bushes, which offer great predator-protection and shade. A couple of wine barrels overflow with mints and basils and bright annuals.  I have also planted a small swatch of lawn for the girls to snack on.

I make a point to plant lavender, rosemary, mint, and basil wherever I can possibly find room for them in this garden.  The chickens are not interested in eating any of these plants, so they remain lovely, and they really help to deodorize the area and ward off flies and other creepy-crawlies.  Basil, especially, seems to send the flies packing.

The Chicken Garden at Farmhouse38

The Chicken Garden at Farmhouse38

The girls wonder why I have a random yellow chair in their garden. Sometimes I wonder this, too.  It’s there because I like it and it offers a fabulous place to sit for a spell and get your ankles pecked.

The Chicken Dirt Bath at Farmhouse38

At the far end of the garden is a designated dirt bathing spot (even though they have about twenty other self-designated spots throughout the property).

Chicken Garden Bench at Farmhouse38

A bench (and a mirror!) under a vine-covered arch offers yet another tranquil spot to sit and be pecked at.

Zinnias in a Rustic Caddy at Farmhouse38

This is a cute, colorful little moment I set up for the photo shoot….I give it a day.

Chicken Busywork in the Farmhouse38 Chicken Garden

Chicken busywork.

Despite this lovely little chicken-oriented garden, I still let my girls free range in the rest of our small yard for the majority of the time.  I like to allow them a ‘soft-supervised’ free range, which is where I am home and keeping a fairly close eye on them, but not stalking them throughout the yard.  When I have to leave for short periods (ie, running errands or something of the sort) I lock them in the chicken garden, which keeps them contained and fairly reliably safe from aerial predators.  There are times when we leave and know we won’t be coming back until after chicken-curfew, and these are the moments when they must be on lockdown in the coop and run.  It all seems to be working pretty well for us, so (knock on wood), I don’t see a Coop 4.0 happening anytime in the near future.

Do you hear that??  Somewhere a displaced Texan is sighing in sweet, sweet relief.

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112 thoughts on “Coop Du Jour 3.0

  1. Lindsey August 28, 2013 at 8:01 pm Reply

    You really outdid yourself this time! Kudos to you…and the Texan too!

  2. curt August 28, 2013 at 8:59 pm Reply

    This is a fantastic post! Wow (except for the possibility of being a chicken dinner)- I would love to be a chicken and live here. This is beautiful – Have you submitted this to Better Coops & Gardens? Really beautifully photographed and very clever ideas. I rate this five chickens!

  3. home, garden, life August 28, 2013 at 9:09 pm Reply

    Another home run! Simply a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e! Every one of your posts make me happy, although I would like a bit more info on your path build…what was the base? Dirt covered in concrete pour? See I want all your secrets…;-)

    • farmhouseK8 August 28, 2013 at 9:13 pm Reply

      Gravel, then concrete! Then wood bits, then dirt….and at some point, hopefully creeping thyme, but I’m not sure the chickens are going to stand for that! LOL. Thank you for the sweet comments! 😀

  4. Becky Neville August 28, 2013 at 9:12 pm Reply

    I am dumbstruck! Just downright overwhelmed.

    • farmhouseK8 August 28, 2013 at 10:13 pm Reply

      Awww, Becky–thanks! 😀 😀 😀

  5. Charlotte Zweigoron August 28, 2013 at 9:14 pm Reply

    Lovely, dahling!! Reminds me of the two-story foyer we had in our previous home. My DH is the Chicago-an and painted that foyer and up the steps 3 times in 2 years. Still hearing about it as an example of female insanity… I laugh, Bwa Haa!! … he did it for me didn’t he?

    • farmhouseK8 August 28, 2013 at 10:13 pm Reply

      Oh, I hear ya!! In this house, the rule is that I can change the color on the walls as much as I please, but….I better be the one with the paintbrush in hand! LOL!!

  6. jengrantmorris August 28, 2013 at 9:33 pm Reply

    I love it all!! You are a genius. Must have taken much time and effort but worth all of it.

    • farmhouseK8 August 28, 2013 at 10:12 pm Reply

      Thank you so much!! It has definitely been a long time coming–but I’m happy enough with the result that I don’t think we’ll be changing it again…I hope!!! 😀

  7. Renee Fischer (@ReneeFischerGGM) August 28, 2013 at 9:36 pm Reply

    red light district hen house.. it brings the roosters to the yard… giggles

    • farmhouseK8 August 28, 2013 at 10:11 pm Reply

      LOL! These are classy, respectable hens, Renee!! Hahahahah! 😀

  8. From a Montana Front Porch August 28, 2013 at 9:39 pm Reply

    Of course i’m in love…enough said. 🙂

    • farmhouseK8 August 28, 2013 at 10:06 pm Reply

      Awww, thanks, girlfriend!!! 😀

  9. Tina Anderson August 28, 2013 at 9:58 pm Reply

    I’m in awe. Just wow! You and Tex need to become professional coop flippers. Come on…you know that there is a market for it! 🙂 I’ll be your first client!

  10. Luisa August 28, 2013 at 10:04 pm Reply

    Love your whimsical style. Makes me smile 🙂

  11. Carol J. Alexander August 28, 2013 at 10:11 pm Reply

    I feel like a full-blown hick. 😉 I LOVE it!

  12. Katie/Maple Grove August 28, 2013 at 10:15 pm Reply

    Oh Kate, I LoVe visually walking through your gardens. Everything you do is so inspirational. I don’t have to think for myself . . . just copy you. LOL Beautiful as always! Thanks for sharing.

    • farmhouseK8 August 28, 2013 at 11:19 pm Reply

      Katie–you’re so sweet!! Thank you so much!!–but your gardens are pretty darn enviable–I’ve loved following along on that project!! 😀

  13. russtowne August 28, 2013 at 10:55 pm Reply

    Gorgeous. The coop, garden, and chickens. Very well done. Thank you for sharing this fun post.

    • farmhouseK8 August 28, 2013 at 11:20 pm Reply

      My pleasure! Thanks for stopping in! 😀

  14. Meredith/GreenCircleGrove August 29, 2013 at 12:09 am Reply

    I love it. All. I can’t decide what I want to copy first–the door to the garden? The removable shelves? The oil cloth covered ceiling? Maybe just a chair so I can sit while my ankles are being pecked. Just lovely, thank you so much for sharing. Those girls of yours are darn lucky.

  15. Beth McIntosh Burnham August 29, 2013 at 12:54 am Reply

    your silly texan…..there is never a ‘last’ time….but it is all outstanding!!

    • farmhouseK8 August 29, 2013 at 2:33 am Reply

      I think he’s finally resigned himself to this very truth. Lol–thanks Beth!! 🙂

  16. LuDonna Stone August 29, 2013 at 1:01 am Reply

    Wow! I am impressed. Wonderful job!

  17. julieadolf August 29, 2013 at 1:09 am Reply

    KATE! Stop it! My poor girls are going to leave their plain, unadorned coop and want to live in your Potager de Poulet! I love every single thing you’ve done–it is absolutely beautiful. You are just amazing. I love your vision and your incredible artistic talent. And I want you to come to SC and prettify our coop! PLEASE??!! 🙂

    • farmhouseK8 August 29, 2013 at 2:34 am Reply

      One of these days I am going to get my behind out there, I swear, Julie! 😀

  18. Kylee Baumle August 29, 2013 at 1:27 am Reply

    This whole set-up is just fabulously lovely and adorable! Your hens are too. ❤

    • farmhouseK8 August 29, 2013 at 2:34 am Reply

      Aww, thanks, Kylee! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  19. Em Hoop August 29, 2013 at 1:41 am Reply

    I can’t believe you did all that work or chickens. Just so your readers can know just how fantastic a job you have done. I’ll tell you about my chickens, who, back in the country when I was young enough to care for them, lived in a metal shed with an open ‘window’, an old tree limb for a roost, and about a dozen pre-fab nest boxes bought from a hardware store. Their dirt yard was fenced with ordinary chicken wire on sides and top. A hose-fed chicken waterer provided liquid refreshment. Not a lick of paint or insulation in sight. Only every so often a sprinkle of pest killer, and usually a black snake in the overhead framing rattling the paper feed bags we stuck up there. And they chowed down on the four-legged vermin.

    Now that was country, folks, out in ice storm and heat wave country. But the eggs were fine and the gals crowded round to be let out into the pasture when I collected their eggs. Nothing like a pasture decorated with cattle droppings to give chickens a thrill. But every now and then one of them would outgrow her wing-clipping and fly high enough to nest in a tree at dusk. Now those were fun evenings, if we didn’t want the girls to be dinner or breakfast for a hawk.

    Obviously, I lived in the BMDIY (Before Modern DIY) era. Makes me wish I’d been born a generation or two later so my chickens could have palatial digs like yours do! It’s truly a masterpiece of art, design and place to live. Let us know how long the paint job looks good, will you? I kind of expect it to be a shabby yard a year from now, but would love to know instead that all is still pretty in chicken paradise.

    • farmhouseK8 August 29, 2013 at 2:39 am Reply

      I know, I know–it’s a bit much, right? But when we’re living in such close confines to our neighbors who all live in the city because they want to live in the city and not next to a barnyard, we have to kind of go a little above and beyond with the aesthetics. Kinda helps counter-balance the chicken poop and flies, you know what I mean? 🙂

  20. Diane August 29, 2013 at 1:57 am Reply

    All I can say is: “Wow!” Love, love, love it!

  21. Katie August 29, 2013 at 3:22 am Reply

    OUT OF CONTROL! Those are some lucky flippin’ chickens!! You are amazingly talented!! I think my favorite part of this whole post was your comment about the flowers planted in the toolbox! 😉 Let us know if they’re still alive tomorrow!

    • farmhouseK8 August 29, 2013 at 2:41 pm Reply

      LOL–thanks, Katie–you know what? By some sort of divine intervention, they are still completely intact! It’s actually been about five days or so! What the what?!! 😀

  22. Becca August 29, 2013 at 4:02 am Reply

    This is the most charming…..the most innovative……imaginative…..cheery…..and peaceful…..hen house garden and run I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. I just LOVE IT..! I almost want to be a chicken just so i could live there….lol……darling photos…..great job to you and the hubs!

    • farmhouseK8 August 29, 2013 at 2:41 pm Reply

      You’re so sweet, Becca–thanks for stopping in!! 😀

  23. Michelle Wedlake August 29, 2013 at 4:51 am Reply

    Wow! We used to have laying hens when I was a girl and I have been doing research on how to keep them happy here in the desert. I love your garden, the adorable frog fountain and wowed by the inside of your coop. I thought I would have to keep my hens inside to protect them from the hawks and coyotes, but maybe enough shrubbery will protect them inside the back yard? It looks like tons of work to set up but well worth the effort. Hope from now on, its just maintenances.

    • farmhouseK8 August 29, 2013 at 2:44 pm Reply

      Thanks, Michelle! You know what else has helped in my yard? The scarecrow. We went through a period of time where the hawks were pretty prevalent, and then I put that scarecrow out (and move her around every couple of days so they don’t get used to her) and we have not had one single attempted attack since then. It may just be coincidence, but I dunno….it’s been several months!!! But protective shrubbery is also a definite necessity—they need to be able to quickly and easily take cover, no matter what! Best of luck to you!

  24. robbie August 29, 2013 at 9:42 am Reply

    Very cute! You and your Texan are always hard at work, great ideas, great job!

  25. Dorothy Malm August 29, 2013 at 2:07 pm Reply

    It’s all so lovely to see. You’ve done an incredible job.

  26. Mag August 29, 2013 at 2:49 pm Reply

    I blame all of my strewn junk on the chickens too… the are such scape “goats” LOVE your blog. Thanks for sharing. The coop looks great!

    • farmhouseK8 August 29, 2013 at 3:05 pm Reply

      It’s all their fault! Lol! Thanks, Mag. 😀

  27. Crystal Forsell August 29, 2013 at 3:12 pm Reply

    Ok, so how do you keep the chickens from scratching up their garden?

    • farmhouseK8 August 29, 2013 at 3:42 pm Reply

      It’s kind of a multi-faceted solution–first of all, I give them plenty of places where it’s ok for them to scratch (ie, the entire space under all the rosebushes and hedges is just dirt for them to scratch and roll around in)–then there is their little swatch of lawn that they can’t destroy despite their best efforts. There are a few spots where I have things planted that I have to initially put little garden fences up to keep them out of, but once the plants have been in long enough, and I deem them sturdy enough, I usually remove the fencing and let the chickens get in there and work around the plants. Sometimes the plants survive, sometimes they don’t–the key is really limiting these areas so if there is a loss it’s not so big. The majority of that garden is stuff they can’t hurt, peppered with little bits of plants that they may be able to destroy, but if so, no big deal. Let me throw in the caveat here that this works because I only have the four birds–if I had more, it would be a lot harder to keep the garden in check, I think.

  28. Betty August 29, 2013 at 4:56 pm Reply

    Awesome, Just Awesome!

  29. Mary Ann August 29, 2013 at 5:39 pm Reply

    OH that is fantastic!! You really out did yourself, my girls would love this. Thank you for sharing.

  30. home, garden, life August 30, 2013 at 5:16 pm Reply

    Kate–Do you ever have problems with predators? I have raccoons, squirrels and the occasional skunk family here in VA and think I could NEVER have chickens livin’ your good life here…Diane

    • farmhouseK8 August 30, 2013 at 5:50 pm Reply

      Yes, we definitely do! We’ve got raccoons that I battle constantly–but they pretty much only show up in the evenings and at night, so beyond making the coop extra strong and secure–we don’t worry about them too much because the girls go on lockdown before the masked bandits come out (and truth be told, we have more of a problem with the raccoons breaking into the garage to get at the cat food than with the chickens).
      Hawks are a serious problem. We’ve had a few attempted attacks–this is why I keep a close eye on the girls during the day–but also, I think that scarecrow is really doing the trick. We have not had one hawk incident since she went up (may just be coincidence).
      We have coyotes and even bears and mountain lions that come down into town here–but the only thing we’ve legitimately seen close to our house is coyotes. But, I strongly believe that the presence of our big dogs really helps deter all these predators from actually coming in the yard (which is completely enclosed with a 6 foot solid vinyl fence–which, incidentally, any of these predators could go over in a snap if they really wanted). So far, we have not had any problems with any of these types of animals.
      The small size of our property, I think, also helps deter predators–I am VERY present all day long (lucky that I work from home)–if we had a big old piece of property, I think it would be A LOT harder to keep everything in check.
      We’ve been lucky, to say the least. But, just because we live in the city doesn’t mean there isn’t wildlife here–we have a TON, that is for sure!!!

  31. lyn moon August 31, 2013 at 1:44 am Reply

    Your new coop and run are absolutely adorable. Those are some lucky chickens. Love the gardens also. Looks like a relaxing spot.

  32. Wendy Stoms September 1, 2013 at 4:01 pm Reply

    I SO love your blog! I have never seen anything like your wonderful gardens and your lovely little coop. I hope you don’t mind if I borrow some of your ideas. I especially love the scrap wood walkways. Glorious, just Glorious! Thank you for a wonderful morning with my java.

    • farmhouseK8 September 1, 2013 at 6:10 pm Reply

      Oh, you are so sweet, Wendy! Thanks for the lovely comments–and welcome!! 😀

  33. Fresh Eggs Daily September 2, 2013 at 5:16 pm Reply

    This is an awesome coop and setup Kate. I think we all find ourselves redoing our original attempt and the second (and third and fourth!) always incorporate little additions and features we failed to recognize we needed the first time around. In your case, I think you hit it out of the ballpark with this one! Nice job!

    • farmhouseK8 September 2, 2013 at 9:31 pm Reply

      Thanks, Lisa! Yeah, we’ve certainly worked it and reworked it a couple of times (but to be fair, when we built the first one, I flat-out told the Texan that I knew it probably was not going to be the best solution–we had no clue what we were doing!!) Thank you for sharing this!! 😀 😀 😀

  34. Amanda September 2, 2013 at 5:31 pm Reply

    Your chicken coop and the surrounding chicken free range garden is the mist beautiful thing I have ever seen! I love it! Job well done!

    • farmhouseK8 September 2, 2013 at 9:33 pm Reply

      Thank you so much, Amanda! 😀

  35. Khristi @ Colored Egg Homestead September 2, 2013 at 6:09 pm Reply

    Oh how lovely! Your chickens don’t know how good they have it. I just love everything about your coop makeover! Great job!

  36. Debbie September 2, 2013 at 6:41 pm Reply

    love it. My daughter has been looking at different coop designs so I shared it with her. My chicken house was built in the early 1900’s so it is always a work in progress as my flock grows.

    • farmhouseK8 September 2, 2013 at 9:40 pm Reply

      Oh, I bet it’s adorable–I would LOVE to have a vintage coop!! Thanks for commenting, Debbie! 😀

  37. Fifi Austin September 2, 2013 at 6:46 pm Reply

    This is fantastic! I love it. 🙂

  38. Amy September 2, 2013 at 6:54 pm Reply

    So nice! Our chickens would cover all of that in poop in no time flat!

    • farmhouseK8 September 2, 2013 at 9:41 pm Reply

      Thanks, Amy!! Ours certainly try their hardest, too! LOL! 😀

  39. Lydia September 2, 2013 at 8:22 pm Reply

    Oh I just love what you did, your so creative..keep up all your great writing, a joy to read

    • farmhouseK8 September 2, 2013 at 9:47 pm Reply

      Thank you so much, Lydia!! 😀

  40. Jo-Ann September 2, 2013 at 10:05 pm Reply

    Love your coop, walkway design and garden!! Where did you buy the rooster weather vane?

    • farmhouseK8 September 3, 2013 at 12:25 am Reply

      I bought it through ‘s amazon store (when you go to their site, it’s the tab that says ‘Shop and Farmacy’ and then it’s under the ‘chicken run and coop decor’ section. For some reason it won’t let me cut and paste a direct link! Hope this long-winded answer helps, though! 😀

  41. Connie O'Hara September 3, 2013 at 12:06 am Reply

    Creativity at every bend. How could you NOT have done this remodel? I swear I see smiles on those happy chicks!

    • farmhouseK8 September 3, 2013 at 12:26 am Reply

      LOL–thank you, Connie!! I like to think they appreciate it a little more than the last one!!! 😀

  42. Catherine September 3, 2013 at 2:58 am Reply

    Lovely coop and garden. Congratulations !

    French is my first language and I just wanted to let you know that Potager de Poulet does not mean Little Chicken Garden. In fact, it does not make sense as a French sentence. Potager is the correct French name for a garden combining edibles and flowers. “Potager deS PouletS” would mean the “Potager of the Chickens”. “Potager des Poules” would mean Potager of the Hens”. “De Poulet” means made with chicken meat (as in a recipe). “Potage de poulet” would mean “Chicken creamy soup”. “Croquettes de poulet” means “Chicken nuggets”.

    I thought about not saying anything but then I figured that, had it been me, I would rather find out… (And you do seem like someone who is very detail oriented).

    Again, congratulations on the lovely installations.

    • farmhouseK8 September 3, 2013 at 5:08 am Reply

      OMG–THANK YOU, Catherine. I really appreciate you coming out and saying that. Now the question is, which of these do I change it to!?? Merci beaucoop (see what I did there?!!)! 😀

  43. Katy (@KatySunflowerUT) September 3, 2013 at 4:08 am Reply

    What a lovely coop! My yard is currently in the before stage. I’m about two weeks away from finishing the coop. You give me hope that the cute garden I had before the construction will come back soon. Here’s my construction phase picture of our living roof. I loved seeing yours.

    • farmhouseK8 September 3, 2013 at 2:41 pm Reply

      Very cool, Katy! Thanks for sharing—I’m super excited about this whole living-roof thing, and hoping that it works out well for the long-haul! Fingers crossed! 🙂

  44. rcatheron September 5, 2013 at 7:36 pm Reply

    This is the prettiest, most charming little chicken yard and garden I’ve ever seen. Thank you for sharing it!

  45. Jenn@NearandFarMontana September 7, 2013 at 2:54 pm Reply

    Kate! I am in love with your backyard! We’re really thinking about getting chickens in the spring and I am relying on you heavily for the how-tos and prettiness! Such a great coop too, I think I’ll have to talk boyfriend into making this!

    • farmhouseK8 September 7, 2013 at 3:05 pm Reply

      LOL–Jenn–thank you! I’ve just had someone request ‘plans’ for the chicken coop, so I am going to work on piecing something intelligible together…we’ll see how that goes–let me know if you’re interested! Chickens will totally be worth it for you guys–you’ve got the room–go get it, girl!!!

  46. Lucinda Sans September 9, 2013 at 10:10 am Reply

    What a wonderful garden!!! I love the chicken home. Not coop-like at all!

    I want your garden!

  47. Tabitha September 11, 2013 at 3:28 pm Reply

    I realize that jealousy is NOT flattering, however – your coop makes me jealous, giddy & sad all in one. We started a chicken journey in 2012 w/ 6 pretty ladies & added to the mix as time went on. Unfortunately due to our country living, foxes & coyote are prevelant and hateful. We were left with fatal injuries & missing chickens – and we decided to find a home for those left, and to try again in a few years. I hope when the time comes for some new ladies, I can have something half as nice!!! Your girls are beautiful, and are spoiled ROTTEN! I adore the recycled pathway, such a great idea. Where did you buy your oil-cloth? That’s something I’d never heard of, and I think it would be great in my next coop!

    • farmhouseK8 September 12, 2013 at 3:37 pm Reply

      Oh, Tabitha–this is kind of a sad story–I’m so sorry for what you went through!–but thank you for the kind words, too. I hope you have better chicken luck next time–they are so great. We’ve got quite a rampant coyote problem in these parts, too–it’s always a worry. But I’m home every day, practically, and the presence of our dogs in the yard really helps deter the predators, too (at least, in our case…so far…knock on wood!).
      Oil cloth: I order it off of amazon, because I can never find it in fabric stores around here! Hope that helps!

  48. Kelly M. September 27, 2013 at 11:08 pm Reply

    Great Job! You have inspired me to finish working on our coop. The poor thing looks neglected compared to yours. I really like the oil cloth and droppings board ideas. Nice way to keep things clean. I noticed a few morning glory flowers in the pictures. Do your chickens ever eat them (any of the plant)? I just read they are toxic. I was going to plant some until I read that. Now I’m not sure.

    • farmhouseK8 September 28, 2013 at 2:09 pm Reply

      YES–they are VERY toxic. Unfortunately, they were growing on this property before we even bought it, and they are impossible to get rid of. So we have to leave them. The chickens leave them alone, but I am very diligent about picking up dropped blossoms every morning before I let the girls out of the coop–and they have so much else to eat and forage in this yard that they seem to have other, more important things to go after. That being said, I am always uneasy about it–but there are so many toxic things in this yard (hydrangea, fallen grapefruit) and try as I might to keep it all in check, it is impossible to keep up perfectly with. I think, as long as they have plenty of good, healthy stuff to go after, they leave the bad stuff alone. If they got desperate, I’m sure they’d eat it. My advice is to not plant it–it will take over your life (as pretty as it is)!!

  49. Kelly M. September 28, 2013 at 4:20 pm Reply

    Hydrangea is bad for them too?? I wanted to get some of those. We have Oleander bushes here (planted by previous owner) but my chickens stay away from those. I need to read more on safe plants for chickens! We currently live on a little over 2 acres and I’m trying to add color! It’s pretty much a blank canvas here. Fruitless Mulberry trees and Oleander bushes when we moved in. I added fruit trees and my garden but it’s still so blank. Thanks for the advice 🙂

  50. Page Lewis October 3, 2013 at 6:14 pm Reply

    LOVED reading this!!!

  51. pinning… » whatever January 28, 2014 at 6:10 pm Reply

    […] scrap pieces of wood to form a garden path. it is super…  it is easy…  use what you have… loads of color. i like it. isn’t it interesting how just looking at cheerful, light and happy photos can brighten our mood? if i am feeling a little down and then i jump over to Pinterest or a blog that is positive it really does lift my spirits. i feel inspired just by looking. i don’t feel pressure to change my house or MAKE something right then but i can appreciate a project or photo and say “i like that” or “this makes me feel happy” or “this is peaceful” and move on with my day. i like shopping with people that get that too.  I don’t have to buy it to enjoy it.  i mean… i want to buy things i love but i can live without them.  sometimes i will take a picture of something at a store if i am alone and tell my friend “isn’t this beautiful?! i am not buying it… just sharing my love of it and moving on” […]

  52. Kirstie April 5, 2014 at 1:51 am Reply

    I LOVE your blog!!! I keep comimg back to this post though, everything looks so pretty! My husband and I are about to start building our first chicken coop and I was wondering what deminsions yours is?

    • farmhouseK8 April 6, 2014 at 3:11 pm Reply

      Aw, thanks, Kristie!! The henhouse itself is approx. 4’x 4′, and 8′ tall at the peak (6′ at the lowest points of the roof, so my husband wouldn’t be banging his head all the time). The run is something like 4 foot deep by 6 feet long, and the roof slopes down from the henhouse roof, so there’s not a lot of head clearance in there. Wish I could give you exact dimensions, but we kind of winged the whole thing. LOL.

  53. mxmarg April 25, 2014 at 8:44 pm Reply

    How inspirational! We’ve got our three chickies in a snazzy chicken tractor in Wisconsin. Do I see that the whole chicken poop shelf slides out, wood frame in front and all? You don’t have a problem with the wooden part rotting after all the rinsing off you do? I’d be concerned about that, please tell me if you have a solution! 🙂 Our laying boxes aren’t easily cleaned but it would be an easy fix to construct the little laying boxes you have and insert them! Such wonderful ideas! And the cuteness factor is off the charts! 🙂

    • farmhouseK8 April 25, 2014 at 11:16 pm Reply

      Yes—all the shelves are fully removable. I have them primed and painted with exterior grade paint which helps with the washing–but the poop shelf is actually lined with a sheet of oilcloth fabric that I pull out every morning and dump and hose off–so that gets the brunt of the poop and washing. 🙂

  54. Coco Trevino October 7, 2014 at 6:06 pm Reply

    Hi ..i have a question..what kind of chickens are those? Sooo beautiful!!!! Love your farm!!!

  55. Penny October 13, 2014 at 11:13 pm Reply

    OH…..MY……STARS!!!!!! My husband & I hope to be moving into our dream homestead on 7 acres in just a few more weeks and the first thing going in the pasture is a flock of beautiful hens! I’ve been searching the internet high & low over the past several months looking for exactly the kind of set-up I want to build for my girls and THIS IS IT!!! I love everything about your coop and surrounding landscaping! Simply STUNNING!!! ❤

    • farmhouseK8 October 13, 2014 at 11:59 pm Reply

      Thank you, Penny! OMG congrats on the homestead and good luck with the move! 😀

  56. Tarah Harlin March 19, 2015 at 4:07 pm Reply

    Wow, those are some lucky little ladies! I love everything about your coop and gardens….so beautiful!! Love all of your animals too! One question….how do you keep all your plants from being scratched to death? Mine just love to scratch around the bases of the plants, exposing the roots and all.

    • farmhouseK8 March 22, 2015 at 4:17 pm Reply

      It is an uphill battle, that is for sure. I have built a lot of chicken wire cloches to put over plants, and put little barrier fences around things to keep them from scratching at roots–but ultimately, they seek and destroy everything that is newish. If you want to keep things in there for them to eat, or keep herbs around to help deter flies, you kind of just have to be okay with putting it in and eventually switching it out. Pots also help, as long as you put something protective (like chicken wire) around the base of the plant to keep them from scratching. Little, fluffy angels of destruction.

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